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Swing Shift (1984)

PG | | Drama, Romance, War | 13 April 1984 (USA)
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A woman finds romance when she takes a job at an aircraft plant to help make ends meet after her husband goes off to war.

Director:

Jonathan Demme

Writer:

Nancy Dowd (as Rob Morton)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Goldie Hawn ... Kay Walsh
Kurt Russell ... Lucky Lockhart
Christine Lahti ... Hazel Zanussi
Fred Ward ... Biscuits Toohey
Ed Harris ... Jack Walsh
Sudie Bond ... Annie
Holly Hunter ... Jeannie Sherman
Patty Maloney ... Laverne
Lisa Pelikan ... Violet Mulligan
Susan Peretz ... Edith Castle
Joey Aresco ... Johnny Bonnaro
Morris 'Tex' Biggs Morris 'Tex' Biggs ... Clarence
Reid Cruickshanks Reid Cruickshanks ... Spike
Danny Darst Danny Darst ... Deacon (as Daniel Dean Darst)
Dennis Fimple ... Rupert George
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Storyline

Jack and Kay Walsh are typical of many couples of the 1940s, where he is the breadwinner and she the housewife dependent upon him to do the man's duties around the house. Jack believes one of their neighbors in the housing complex in which they live in Los Angeles is white trash - he letting her know so at every opportunity, while Kay is quietly curious about her. That neighbor is streetwise Hazel Zanussi, an aspiring singer who does get a chance to sing on occasion at the club managed by her casual boyfriend, Biscuits Toohey, although he relegates her to being one of the taxi dancers more often against her wants, while he cheats on her behind her back despite truly having feelings for her. Hazel just wants to make an honest living. Their worlds are turned upside down on December 7, 1941 when the US enters WWII with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Jack immediately enlists in the Navy, and while he will send money home, his decision leaves Kay largely to fend for herself. Against... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When America marched off to war the women marched into the factory. From then on...nothing was the same.

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 April 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tjejen som jobbade skift See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Monica, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,270,136, 15 April 1984, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$6,650,206
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White | Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell fell in love and moved in together after working on this project. See more »

Goofs

When he comes home, Jack is wearing the ribbon for the American Defense Service Medal, which is incorrect because he enlisted after Pearl Harbor, and that medal is for those on active duty From September 8, 1939 and December 7, 1941. See more »

Quotes

Jack Walsh: That guy you work with... what's his name?
Kay Walsh: Lucky?
Jack Walsh: There's no question about that.
Kay Walsh: What do you mean?
Jack Walsh: Well, he's stateside, he's not in uniform... how lucky can you get?
Kay Walsh: I don't think he'd call it lucky.
Jack Walsh: Well, the next time you go to work ask him what he'd call it and where I might stand in line to get it.
Kay Walsh: What would you call it, Jack?
Jack Walsh: I'd call it cheating, Kay.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown over old, black and white photos. See more »

Alternate Versions

CBS edited 5 minutes from this film for its 1987 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Referenced in MsMojo: Top 10 Actors Who Fell in Love on Set (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

United States Government Newsreel
(uncredited)
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
Heavy-handed comedy-drama with equal parts pathos and nostalgia
18 May 2006 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

WWII star-vehicle for Goldie Hawn, here cast as a Rosie the Riveter-type who goes to work in an airplane-parts factory after her husband reports for duty. Poor beginning and hastily-filmed conclusion redeemed somewhat by bright moments in the middle. Hawn seems to realize she's being upstaged by Christine Lahti (as a "tramp" who lives in the same housing complex) and the final moments flip-flop trying to restructure the film's focus in Goldie's favor (check out that final shot). There's nothing wrong with that--Goldie's a wonderful presence and she's very appealing in parts of the movie--but her character as written just isn't all that interesting. As the men vying for Hawn's affections, Kurt Russell and Ed Harris are handsome and serviceable. As for Lahti, she indeed shines, obviously relishing the chance to play against type. I just wish the interaction between Lahti and Hawn had been explored with more depth, but it isn't. This is the fault of the screenwriter (the non-existent "Rob Morton", who is really Bo Goldman, Ron Nyswaner, and Nancy Dowd, here doing a WWII variation on "Coming Home", which Dowd also had a hand in) and also Goldie Hawn, who reportedly fought with director Jonathan Demme over control of the piece. They are all to blame for the slim box-office receipts "Swing Shift" struggled to bring in. **1/2 from ****


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